Divvying up your marketing budget is a complex task; there is so much to be gained (and lost) that you don’t want to waste precious resources (or your reputation) on tools and tactics that aren’t effective. One area of marketing spend that continues to promise strong returns is in the area of data analytics. But a word of caution: don’t accept the findings and recommendations of analytics engines on blind faith, be diligent and confident that they are based on a solid foundation of accurate information.
A recent study, titled “The CMO Survey,” revealed that marketing leaders’ spend on analytics is predicted to increase by 83% over the next three years. This isn’t that surprising when you consider that the areas most likely to be advanced by data analytics include customer acquisition, customer retention, social media and multichannel marketing. These all impact both the top and bottom line for marketers and their businesses, so it makes sense to find a better/smarter/more cost effective way to improve those metrics.
Interestingly though, given the strategic impact that analytics can have on a marketing plan and despite the fact that marketers are planning to increase their analytics budgets during the next few years, the report also found that 69% of CMOs have not formally evaluated the quality of their marketing analytics. This is a mistake. You can’t blindly accept what a tool is telling you without some kind of validation process in place.
So, when it comes down to rolling out an effective marketing analytics plan, here are some tips to ensure your new data analytics budget produces meaningful results:
- Evaluate flaws in your current plan: Pinpoint what isn’t working so you can ensure your new plan doesn’t include the same mistakes. For example, one major pitfall that could be sabotaging your current analytics success is an abundance of dirty data. Expired email addresses, duplicate business contacts and inaccurate demographic and firmographic data can negatively impact the insights generated from your analytics. This can send you after the wrong audience or market, wasting resources and time. So, evaluate the last couple of campaigns and see if they are delivering the results you expected, if not, get to the root of the issue and fix it.
- Eliminate and enhance your data: Regardless of how your campaigns are performing, it’s time to say sayonara to dirty data. Dedicate some of your data analytics budget to implementing best-in-class data management Investing in a system that can regularly cleanse, enhance (by injecting new, reliable business contacts) and segment your data will enable you to market smarter. Credible, segmented business contacts will help you convert more sales and realize heightened ROI.
When increasing your spend in marketing data analytics, make sure you invest in the right technology so you can gain the biggest bang for your buck.